New Delhi: Limiting 'no detention policy' till class V, an education commission to identify new areas of knowledge, raising investment in education sector to at least 6 per cent of GDP and encouraging top foreign varsities to come to India are among the highlights of a draft New Education Policy (NEP) put forth by HRD ministry in public domain.
In the "Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016," which the ministry put on its website seeking feedback, examining extension of Clause 12 (1) (c) of RTE Act to government-aided minority institutions (religious and linguistic) in view of "larger national commitments towards the economically weaker sections" has also been suggested.
In the draft, put out by the ministry, it is mentioned that the present provisions of no-detention policy will be amended, as it has seriously affected the academic performance of students.
"The no detention policy will be limited up to class V and the system of detention will be restored at the upper primary stage," the draft inputs paper says.
The draft paper also says that all states and UTs, if they so desire, may provide education in schools, upto Class V, in mother tongue, local or regional language as the medium of instruction.
It, however, adds that if the medium of instruction upto primary level is the mother tongue or local or regional language, the second language will be English and the choice of the third language (at the upper primary and secondary levels) will be with the individual states and local authorities, in keeping with the Constitutional provisions.
The draft policy paper also adds that facilities for teaching Sanskrit at the school and university stages will be offered on a more liberal scale.
For higher education, the policy paper suggest an Education Commission comprising academic experts that will be set up every five years to assist the HRD Ministry in identifying new knowledge areas as well as pedagogic, curricular and assessment reforms at the global level.
The paper, released by the ministry also talks of raising investment in education sector to at least 6 per cent of GDP and encouraging top foreign varsities to come to India.
Not just foreign Universities in India, the paper also says that Indian institutions will also be allowed to set up campuses abroad, if required, through suitable legislations/ amendments in the relevant Acts or statutes.
"A panel under former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian had given its report on drafting a New Education Policy, the policy paper put out today is based on several recommendations of the Subramanian panel," a senior HRD ministry official said.
Among other key recommendations, it has been suggested that for science, mathematics and english subjects, a common national curriculum will be designed. For other subjects, such as social sciences, a part of the curricula will be common across the country and the rest will be at the discretion of the states.
A framework and guidelines for ensuring school safety and security of children will be developed and will be made a part of the eligibility conditions for a school education institution for recognition and registration, the draft says.
It also says that schools will engage trained counsellors to confidentially advise parents and teachers on adolescence problems faced by growing boys and girls.
Another suggestion is setting of a task force of experts will be set up to study the recruitment, promotion and retention procedures, followed by internationally renowned universities and institutions and suggest measures to promote intellectual and academic excellence in higher education institutes.
A national campaign will be launched to attract young talent into the teaching profession, has also been suggested.
The paper, however, does not contain much suggestion to curb politicisation, which was one of the key points in the Subramanian panel report. The panel in its report had even suggested that it should be examined if units of political parties should be allowed on campuses.
Another key suggestion contained in the HRD ministry draft relates to the high failure rate in class-X examination which is attributed to a large extent to poor performance in three subjects: Mathematics, Science and English.
In order to reduce the failure rates, class X examination in Mathematics, Science and English will be at two levels: Part-A at a higher level and Part-B at a lower level. Students who intend to join courses/ programmes for which science, mathematics or English is not a prerequisite or wish to shift to vocational stream after class-X will be able to opt for Part-B level examination, the paper says.
At present Central and State Boards of Education conduct examination for class X and XII.
It will be mandatory for the students to take class X board examination conducted by the Board to which their school is affiliated, it added.
The paper has also suggested that an expert committee will be constituted to study the systems of accreditation in place internationally and will suggest restructuring of NAAC and NAB as well as redefining methodologies, parameters and criteria.